Bananas Foster French Toast Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 35 min.
This decadent overnight bananas Foster French toast recipe will take your brunch game to the next level.

Updated: Apr. 19, 2024

Dessert for breakfast? Breakfast for dessert? All we know is that this bananas Foster French toast casserole unquestionably reigns supreme among overnight breakfast recipes. Traditional bananas Foster hails from New Orleans, and this recipe marries the best parts of the famous dessert with a beloved weekend brunch staple: French toast. You’ll need to plan ahead as bananas Foster French toast calls for an overnight soak, but it’s a cinch to make.

You’ll start with buttery caramel in the bottom of the pan, mixed with crunchy pecans and ripe bananas, and then add challah bread drenched in a vanilla-laced custard. Once baked, you’ll flip the breakfast casserole over so the nutty banana caramel layer becomes the top. As far as decadent French toast recipes go, this one is a feast for the eyes and taste buds.

Bananas Foster French toast casserole is ideal for feeding a group. And since it feels just a wee bit more special than other breakfast casseroles, it’s one of our top-rated breakfast recipes around the holidays.

Ingredients for Bananas Foster French Toast

  • Butter: Butter is where it all begins and what gives the caramel on the top its silky texture and richness. Salted or unsalted butter works here, but a touch of salt helps balance the sweetness of the brown sugar and bananas. Our Test Kitchen has discovered the best butter brands, so take your pick!
  • Brown sugar: With its wonderful molasses-like flavor, brown sugar adds depth to the French toast casserole by complementing the boldness of the bananas, spices and pecans. The main difference between light and dark brown sugar is that dark has more molasses, which means a deeper caramel flavor. You can use either in this recipe.
  • Heavy cream: The third part of our caramel-making trio, heavy cream helps thicken the caramel as the casserole bakes in the oven.
  • Spices: Baking spices like cinnamon and allspice are standard for both French toast and bananas Foster. These spices add a cozy warmth that goes really well with the other ingredients.
  • Pecans: Bringing a satisfying crunch and gorgeous nuttiness to the caramel bananas Foster topping, the pecans will toast as the casserole bakes, giving them a more intense flavor.
  • Bananas: Have a forgotten bunch of bananas hanging around your fruit bowl? This is their time to shine. Use fully ripened bananas for the sweetest taste and most intense, delicious banana flavor. (Leave the super ripe ones for banana bread.) Only have green fruit? Learn how to ripen bananas quickly for any recipe.
  • Bread: Challah, brioche and other enriched breads are the gold standard as far as making the best French toast is concerned. Even more important: The bread should be a little stale. Dried-out bread soaks up the liquid ingredients in the custard better, which makes your French toast less prone to falling apart.
  • Milk: Milk makes up half the custard used to coat French toast. Whole milk yields a richer custard, but feel free to use any milk you fancy.
  • Eggs: You need eggs for a proper French toast custard. Use room-temperature eggs for easier mixing.

Directions

Step 1: Make the bananas Foster mixture

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Put the butter in a medium to large microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl and microwave the butter for 30 to 45 seconds until melted. Whisk in the brown sugar, heavy cream, cinnamon, allspice and pecans. Add the bananas and toss to coat.

Editor’s Tip: You can also gently melt the butter on the stove before adding the other ingredients.

Step 2: Pour the mixture into the baking dish

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Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish. Pour the banana mixture into the dish.

Step 3: Add the bread

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Place the bread over the banana mixture, cutting away the edges as needed.

Step 4: Blend the custard

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Pour the milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract into a blender and process the custard until the ingredients are just blended.

Step 5: Soak the bread overnight

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Pour the custard over the bread, then cover the baking dish and refrigerate it for at least eight hours or overnight.

Editor’s Tip: The long soak ensures that the custard gets into every nook and cranny of the bread. The longer the soak, the more custardy your bananas Foster French toast casserole will be.

Step 6: Bake the casserole

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Take the French toast out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the casserole uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the casserole to stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Editor’s Tip: It’s important to never put a cold baking dish into a hot oven. It may crack! Letting the casserole stand at room temperature while the oven preheats is essential.

Step 7: Invert the casserole

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Turn the casserole out onto a serving dish and serve.

Bananas Foster French Toast Variations

  • Add a splash of rum: Bananas, rum and spice create a divine combo, and rum is an ingredient in the original bananas Foster recipe. Use dark rum or spiced rum for the richest flavor (here are our picks for the best rums for sipping, mixing and cooking).
  • Try different types of bread: No need to stick to enriched breads. French toast made from sourdough, French bread or classic white bread works just as well. Again, a little stale is best; you can also toast the bread in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes to dry it out a bit.
  • Use different nuts: Walnuts are an especially delicious partner with anything banana, but peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts are all fabulous in this recipe.
  • Bake it in a pie pan: Bananas Foster French toast is a stellar casserole, but you can just as easily use a pie pan.

How to Store Bananas Foster French Toast

Let the French toast casserole cool, then cover it well and place it in the fridge for up to two days. To reheat, let the casserole come up to room temperature and then bake it in the oven at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes until heated through.

Can you freeze bananas Foster French toast?

Yes! This French toast casserole can be wrapped and frozen for up to three months. Defrost it in the fridge overnight, and reheat it as outlined above.

Bananas Foster French Toast Tips

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Can you make bananas Foster French toast in a slow cooker?

Slow cooking your bananas Foster French toast casserole makes an easy recipe even easier. Grease a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Layer the bananas along the bottom of your slow cooker, then top the bananas with the melted butter, spices, cream and pecans. Combine the milk, egg and vanilla in a bowl. Instead of using sliced bread, chop the challah into cubes, then toss it in the batter. Place the challah in the slow cooker, and cook on low for three to four hours or on high for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. For lazy weekends, these slow-cooker breakfast ideas will give you even more inspiration.

How do you serve bananas Foster French toast?

Take things up a notch by dusting your French toast with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon, as well as topping it with a scoop of fresh seasonal berries or a sprinkle of coconut. A little homemade sweetened whipped cream wouldn’t go amiss here either. For something extra special, drizzle chocolate over the top of your French toast casserole. Classic bananas Foster includes vanilla ice cream, so if you want to serve this indulgent breakfast recipe for dessert, grab your ice cream scoop and a tub of homemade vanilla ice cream.

Bananas Foster French Toast

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 35 min
Yield 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 3 large bananas, sliced
  • 12 slices egg bread or challah (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave, covered, until melted, 30-45 seconds. Stir in brown sugar, cream, cinnamon, allspice and, if desired, pecans. Add bananas; toss gently to coat.
  2. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Arrange bread over top, trimming to fit as necessary.
  3. Place remaining ingredients in a blender; process just until blended. Pour over bread. Refrigerate, covered, 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°. Remove French toast from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, uncovered, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Invert to serve.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 658 calories, 31g fat (17g saturated fat), 218mg cholesterol, 584mg sodium, 84g carbohydrate (39g sugars, 4g fiber), 14g protein.

Mmm…bananas Foster for breakfast! This yummy baked French toast serves up all the taste of the spectacular dessert in fine fashion. —Laurence Nasson, Hingham Massachusetts